With its pristine, cold waters, British Columbia is known for producing impeccable oysters — and as a result, impeccable oyster bars. More than 20 oyster appellations can be found in glacial fjords around Vancouver Island, each providing a distinct flavor profile. Pull up a chair at these notable spots, where you can get a taste of Vancouver’s best bivalves.
Blue Water Café + Raw Bar
This Yaletown gem makes the most of Vancouver’s abundance of sustainably harvested seafood, and their extensive oyster list is a welcome introduction to more than 20 oyster appellations throughout British Columbia, Washington and the East Coast. One must-try variety at Blue Water Café + Raw Bar is the unique Shigoku oysters from Willapa Bay, Washington, which tout a cucumber-like flavor with notes of water chestnut and Jerusalem artichoke.
Experience contemporary West Coast dishes fused with vibrant nightlife at this downtown dining destination. Coast Restaurant’s upscale lounge area offers the best of both worlds, where you can watch bartenders whip up innovative cocktails while you savor freshly shucked oysters. Try the platter of a dozen local oysters, which includes mainstays like buttery Kusshi oysters and sweet-salty Fanny Bay oysters.
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
Voted “Vancouver’s Best Oyster Bar,” Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House knows how to set the bar high when it comes to top-notch shellfish. With a lush rooftop garden, mahogany-walled wine room and an impressive horseshoe-shaped oyster bar in the main dining room, this surf-and-turf establishment seamlessly combines casual and upscale ambiances. Take your pick from approximately 15 varieties of raw oysters, or opt for some cooked versions, such as rich Oysters Rockefeller and crispy, fried oysters served with Joe’s signature tartar sauce.
Araxi Restaurant + Bar
Focusing on the best ingredients from Canada’s farmlands and waters, Araxi’s menu showcases some of the region’s most prized produce, meat and seafood. This Whistler eatery is a popular spot for après ski snacks and gourmet brunch, but no matter what meal you’re enjoying, order some fruits de mer from the raw bar, which includes a premium selection of fresh British Columbia oysters, straight from local oyster farmers.
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